International Development News
Development News Edition

RPT-U.S. diplomats to testify about Trump-Ukraine efforts as Democrats build impeachment case


RPT-U.S. diplomats to testify about Trump-Ukraine efforts as Democrats build impeachment case
Image Credit: Flickr

A parade of U.S. diplomats will head to Capitol Hill for closed-door testimony this week as Democrats build their impeachment case against President Donald Trump, while the White House considers ways to slow down the process. The interviews could yield more fodder for Democrats' impeachment drive over a whistleblower's allegations that Trump leveraged $400 million in aid to secure a promise from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate political rival Joe Biden, and his son Hunter, who sat on the board of a Ukrainian energy company.

Trump has denied wrongdoing and assailed the probe. Among those due to testify: Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union who was involved in efforts to get Ukraine to open the investigations, and Masha Yovanovitch, who was abruptly recalled from her post as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine in May after Trump supporters questioned her loyalty to the president.

Trump's White House could formally tell House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as early as Monday that it will ignore lawmakers' demands for documents until the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives holds a vote to formally approve the impeachment inquiry. Pelosi says a vote is not needed, but Democrats say she would prevail if one were held, although very few Republicans would be expected to side with the Democratic majority. Congress returns to Washington on Oct. 15 after a two-week recess.

"There's no question in my mind that she would have the votes," Democratic Representative Jim Himes said on CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday. The impeachment investigation could lead to the approval by the House of formal charges against Trump.

A trial on whether to remove him from office would then be held in the Republican-controlled Senate, but few Republicans have broken ranks with Trump so far for asking Ukraine and China to launch investigations of Biden, a former vice president and a leading contender for the Democratic nomination to face Trump in the November 2020 presidential election. SECOND WHISTLEBLOWER

On Sunday, lawyers said a second whistleblower had come forward to substantiate an August complaint from an unnamed U.S. government official, which touched off the investigation. Diplomatic text messages released by Democrats last week show that U.S. officials were involved in the effort to secure a public commitment from Ukraine to look into the business dealings of Hunter Biden.

Trump has alleged that Hunter Biden profited in his business dealings in both Ukraine and China from his father's position and that Joe Biden, as vice president, pushed Ukraine to fire a prosecutor to impede a probe of a company tied to his son. There has been no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of either Biden.

Those texts show Sondland seeking to downplay the concerns of another U.S. diplomat, William Taylor, that the United States was withholding $400 million in aid in order to secure Ukraine's cooperation. "The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo's of any kind," Sondland wrote. "I suggest we stop the back and forths by text."

Sondland is expected to testify on Tuesday before the three House committees leading the impeachment probe. State Department counselor Ulrich Brechbuhl is also scheduled to testify that day. Deputy Secretary of State George Kent is scheduled to testify on Monday. Yovanovitch is due to appear on Friday.

Also Read: UPDATE 1-Ukraine must investigate Joe Biden's son, says ex-Ukrainian PM

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


TRENDING

OPINION/BLOG/INTERVIEW

How music can help expectant mothers during pregnancy

Music provides pleasant ambience for all but its more important for expectant mothers as besides ensuring pleasant environment for them it also directly and indirectly influences the unborn babies. There are various scientific findings to c...

EdTech: A technical approach to flexible and cost-effective education

Its hight time for the world to go for innovative approaches like e-learning over traditional learning methods that need physical infrastructure, long-term planning, and huge investment. ...

Our school campaigns are our strongest ally: Joaquin Antuna, founder of Peace and Cooperation

Joaquin Antuna is the founder of Peace and Cooperation, a Spanish NGO which was nominated as peace messenger by the United Nations in 1986. Antuna is of very firm opinion that in order to have an incisive impact on the community we live in,...

'No escape from telephones', this 1953 prediction actually comes true

In 1953, a telephone company chief predicted that therell be no escape from telephones in the future....

Videos

Latest News

Traders to protest against Amazon, Flipkart on Wednesday: CAIT

Traders in more than 700 cities will on Wednesday protest against the unethical and unfair business practices of e-commerce firms Amazon and Flipkart, CAIT said. The Confederation of All India Traders CAIT has on multiple occasions alleged ...

Police register FIR in JNU students' protest case

The Delhi Police lodged an FIR on Tuesday in connection with the protest by Jawaharlal Nehru University JNU students over a hostel fee hike, a senior police official said. He said the FIR was registered under the relevant provisions of law ...

Perfios raises $50 mn led by funds of Warburg Pincus, Bessemer Venture Partners

Fintech company Perfios Software Solutions on Tuesday said it has raised about USD 50 million about Rs 359 crore in funding led by an affiliate of private equity funds managed by Warburg Pincus LLC and Bessemer Venture Partners. The investm...

Forbes & Company mulls listing Eureka Forbes

Forbes Company, a Shapoorji Pallonji group firm, on Tuesday announced plans to list its subsidiary Eureka Forbes to unlock value for shareholders. The companys board has authorised the management to evaluate any such scheme in this regard,...

Give Feedback